Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Last Rites For Carol

Today is Monday,June 4, 2019. 

Carol passed through this life on Sunday, May 26, 2019,  Aged 72 and just three days before her 73rd birthday.

My last entry I was preparing to leave to visit her. It was Carol's birthday and I felt like I was in "jello" all that day -- a feeling I'd described in earlier writings after my husband passed and my mother.

Time seemed to stand still. I was moving but something was "different". I had no idea what awaited me and even though it was "expected", the cruelty, the thoughtlessness, the didn't seem to give a D... of the facility for Carol as a person, who lived, loved, cared about ... not in their range of humanity.

I'd asked someone to call me from the facility if she passed because I thought they might not let me know but I didn't want to believe they could be so thoughtless, so heartless, of Carol and of my daughter and I.

She didn't.  No one did. No call, no note, nothing.

I went totally unprepared socially and emotionally for the empty bed, the half cleaned out room yet so many "things" of Carol's still in the room, on shelves, on walls. 

I carried a potted yellow chrysanthemum -- another plant that would survive less watering and attention as staff usually ignored and allowed them to die -- like the people.

I can't describe the shock of not seeing her in the bed, usually starring straight ahead, a TV constantly on -- made that way by staff who usually closed the door, drew the curtain between the two beds (hers and her roommate's). She watched whatever they chose. No one to talk to; no one sitting with her. Alone. Isolated.

We had to ask about her. ASK about "the obvious" yet the totally shocking and unexpected discovery of the empty bed, the empty room -- her roommate.....did she pass also?

Walking out. Down the hall. Noticing so many residents sitting in the area where they're now fed. Unusual. There haven't been this many since months before Carol's move into Hospice within her regular room.

Always when visiting over the past nine months or so the residents have been in their rooms, almost all in their beds, asleep or in a dazed state. I've tried to "visit" but they've been beyond just as Carol was.

I believed then and I believe now they were all over drugged to accomodate the choice of the facility to have "low" rates of caregivers and hold down costs.

It will take time for me to adjust to this passing. Yes, it was inevitable because no one stepped in, no person cared enough or thought enough about ensuring the well being and health of someone "that age" -- which is really not old by today's standards.

Carol had become too expensive and she'd found her voice which was even more costly to a facility.

Did I mention when I arrived there was a new "face" at the Reception Desk? I struck up a conversation before going up to Carol's room -- before I knew she'd passed.

A lady I'd not seen before. Turns out she was someone who cleaned the rooms during the day and now was "extending" her shift by another four or more hours, total of at least 12, by sitting at the reception desk.

Where have all the "regulars" gone?  Or have they seen enough or were they "substituted" so as not to be able to see, to talk, to share their concerns?

I have other life responsibilities but I cannot set aside my concerns over the lives of people who enter a place to live only to be reduced to dependency and then dying under strange circumstances.

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